Appreciating Hawaii’s Public Art

A sign in a rock base

Oftentimes, the intricate beauty of statues, sculptures and other forms of artwork get overlooked. Either they blend in with their surroundings, or they’re situated in an obscure area.

Honolulu, for instance, has a long list of public art works – from stainless steel figures to painted murals. Although I have lived here all my life, I still stumble upon new pieces or new works.

The bronze statue pictured above would be one that I had never noticed before. It’s of a little girl named “Joy,” who stands with uplifted arms near the Royal Hawaiian Bandstand at Kapiolani Park. The tiny plaque at the base of the statue says that she is dedicated to Hawaii’s keiki. and was sculpted by artist Gary Aslum in 2000.

I wanted to know more about the history of the statue and why she had her arms held up as such. I searched on the web and came across a Honolulu government database that listed public art works in the past few decades; however, I did not find Joy on the list. I was pleasantly surprised to find the list, however, which I may use as a reference for other art works.

Here’s the link: https://data.honolulu.gov/dataset/Public-Art/yef5-h88r

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